The Natural World and Climate Anxiety

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Still by Mackenzie Reid Rostad

Join documentarians Greg Grano, Candace Thompson, Mackenzie Reid Rostad, and Erin Espelieus as they discuss the use of humor in addressing the natural world, its marvels, and its impending doom. Skidmore student Sarah Maacha ’20 will moderate the discussion and breakfast will be provided.

The Natural World and Climate Anxiety is organized as part of the 2019 MDOCS Forum, presented by the John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative (MDOCS). The forum is free and open to the public.

About the Panelists

Mackenzie Reid Rostad is a Canadian documentary filmmaker with a practice exploring the politics of space/place with use of site-specific and nonlinear forms of documentary. Recent exhibitions include DOXA Documentary Film Festival, Vancouver, Canada (2017) and VIVO Media Arts Centre, Vancouver, Canada (2019).

Gregory Grano is a filmmaker and educator based in Los Angeles. Greg divides his time between creative projects and serving as a teaching artist with the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, LA County High School for the Arts, and more. This year, Greg was an Artist In Residence at the Catskills Creative Residency, where he began work on I’m A Tree, an experimental documentary and the first in a series of short films investigating human relationships with nature.

Erin Espelie is a filmmaker, writer, researcher, and editor, whose science-based experimental and poetic documentaries have shown at the New York Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the British Film Institute’s Experimenta, CPH:DOX, the Copernicus Science Center in Warsaw, the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and more. She currently serves as Editor in Chief of Natural History magazine, and works at the University of Colorado Boulder as an assistant professor in Film Studies & Critical Media Practices and co-directs NEST (Nature, Environment, Science & Technology) Studio for the Arts.

Candace Thompson is a performer and media maker. Her project The Collaborative Urban Resilience Banquet seeks to help urbanites reconnect to their fragile (and often displaced) food web through social media storytelling, citizen science experiments and community meals that are foraged almost entirely from the city streets. Follow the project on instagram at @thecurb.

About MDOCS Forum


Each June, as part of the annual Storytellers’ Institute, Skidmore College’s John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative (MDOCS) hosts a weekend-long documentary forum around an annual theme. This year’s theme, Humor: Laughing With Reality, honors the long tradition of non-fiction makers who, through satire and silliness, have employed humor as means to transgress social norms, toy with the taboo, and empower us through laughter. An international group of documentary makers will explore the theme through various mediums and connect with Skidmore and the greater community at locations on Skidmore College campus from June 6–9, 2019.

For more information on the 2019 MDOCS Forum, visit their website.

2019 MDOCS Forum Events

Thursday, June 6:
- 8:00 PM – Performance of “The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller” Sam Green, and Yo La Tengo (at Arthur Zankel Music Center)

Friday, June 7:
- 10:00 AM – The Natural World and Climate Anxiety
- 11:45 AM – Sitting in the Waiting Room
- 3:00 PM – Sam Green Artist Talk
- 4:30 PM – Documentary, Mockumentary and Prank Panel
- 6:00 PM – Keynote: Kristina Wong Performance and Artist Talk (at Filene Auditorium)

Saturday, June 8:
- 10:00 AM – Docs in Progress
- 11:45 AM – Documentary Film Industry and Humor
- 3:00 PM – Land Without Bread Redux
- 4:30 PM – Humor, Memory, Trauma, Loss
- 6:15 PM – Radio Atlas

Sunday, June 9:
- 10:00 AM – Storytelling Workshop with Micaela Blei
- 11:45 AM – Teachings and Takeaways Workshop

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